By Adam Mccleery For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 02:26 BST, 27 June 2019 | Updated: 02:55 BST, 27 June 2019
South Sydney and England rugby league captain Sam Burgess has revealed he was 'hell-bent' on playing for Manly Sea Eagles until he received a telephone call from film star Russell Crowe.
In 2009 Burgess was playing for Bradford in the English Super League when he started to consider playing for the NRL, he told The Matty Johns podcast.
At the time, Burgess was playing with a former Manly Sea Eagles great, Steve Menzies, and said he had grown to love the man known as 'Beaver'.
South Sydney and England rugby league captain Sam Burgess (pictured) has opened up about his path to the NRL and how he only had eyes for the Manly Sea Eagles at first
Burgess (pictured) said when Russell Crowe first started to court him for South Sydney he thought it was a hoax and he only had eyes for the Manly Sea Eagles at the time
'Beaver is such a champion guy and he came over initially to Bradford … I told him I had an ambition to play in the NRL and he said mate you gotta go,' Burgess said.
Menzies encouraged Burgess further by giving him then Manly coach Des Hasler's phone number.
‘I was ringing Desi, Desi listen I’ll come, I don’t want any money just give me an opportunity I’ll do the rest for you. But they couldn’t make it work,'